Message from Public Health

Student absences have increased recently within several schools in York Region, related to illnesses with respiratory and enteric symptoms.

To protect staff, students and families from getting ill, remember to:

  • Stay at home when you are sick, and keep your child home if they are sick
  • Keep healthy by eating healthy foods, being physically active and ensuring your immunizations are up-to-date, including the seasonal flu shot
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue, not your hand, and throw away used tissues immediately
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Clean and disinfect common surfaces

Symptoms of respiratory and/or enteric illness can include:

  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fever (over 38 degrees Celsius or 100 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Muscle aches and fatigue
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Watery eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you or your child are sick and do not improve, contact your health care provider.

Many viruses are commonly active at this time of year, for example norovirus and influenza (flu). Both viruses are very contagious and can be spread by contact with contaminated surfaces, such as door knobs or eating utensils. For more information, read the norovirus and flu fact sheets online at the following links:

Norovirus fact sheet

Flu fact sheet

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